Foppe van Aitzema

Foppe van Aitzema, other naming conventions Foppe van Aizema and Foppius van Aissema (* 1580 in Dokkum, † October 28, 1637 in Vienna ) was a lawyer and politician.

Life and work

Was Aitzema in Dokkum, a place in today's province of Friesland in the Netherlands, the son of the pastor and his wife scolding van Aitzema Sjoerdje Lieuves 1580. He referred to studies in the universities of Franeker, Leiden, Helmstedt and Wittenberg.

After completing his studies in 1607 he became a councilor at the court of Duke Heinrich Julius of Brunswick- Wolfenbüttel. This was also the Protestant bishop of Halberstadt and appointed Aitzema 1612 against the resistance of the chapter as chancellor of the diocese. When the Duke died on July 20, 1613 and the only 4 -year-old Duke Heinrich Karl was appointed by Brunswick- Wolfenbüttel as the new bishop, the chapter was able to sell him. This also put him nine months in captivity. After Aitzema renounced all his possessions and promised the Duchy of Brunswick and the bishopric of Halberstadt never to enter again, he was released on bail and he was released from grace.

Then he found asylum at the States General, for which he as an envoy in the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck and Hamburg led negotiations with Frederick IV of Denmark, Tilly and Wallenstein in 1617.

When he went to business in 1635 to Vienna, he was suspected to have approached the Catholicism. However, he was sent in 1536, diplomatic mission to Vienna to negotiate a safe position of the States General to the Emperor Ferdinand II and thus to achieve a neutral position in relation to the contending powers of the Thirty Years' War. However, the government in The Hague was dissatisfied with the negotiating successes and called him back in 1637. On the return trip Aitzema learned in Oldenburg further restrictions against him and returned to Vienna, where he died on October 28, 1637, converted to the Catholic faith, died.


Meinardus of Aitzema, an older brother of Foppe, was mayor of Dokkum and Admiralty secretary. His son Lieuwe van Aitzema was a noted diplomat and historian.


  • Poemata Juvenilia, Paris 1605; Reprint Helmstädt 1607
  • Juris Civilis Libri Dissertationum ex II, Helmstedt 1607.